Frequently Asked Questions.

If you’re looking for quick answers to common questions, then you’re on the right page. If you’d still like to know more, then please feel comfortable to get in touch.

Whether you’re looking for a Counsellor or Psychologist in Port Macquarie it’s important to ask what their highest qualification is and to make sure they are registered with the peak industry body. For counsellors, look for PACFA and ACA registration so that you’ll be getting a vetted, verified, and professionally qualified therapist.

Counsellors and Psychologists use exactly the same evidence-based therapies. We both work to understand the nature of your complaint and help you to resolve it. If you have a Mental Health Care Plan from your Doctor, you can provide this to either a Counsellor or Psychologist to give them a background to your presenting problem. The key difference is that a Counsellor will charge you their session fee, and a psychologist will either charge you a gap payment (their session fee minus a medicare rebate) or their full fee and you claim the medicare rebate. As Counsellors charge far less for their services than Psychologists, there’s very little difference in the overall cost to you, whomever you seek help from..

Additionally, the wait time for Psychologists may be getting into several months rather than weeks. That is certainly the case with Psychologist colleagues in my office and Mental Health practitioner friends in Port Macquarie, and that’s if their books are even open. If you’re booking my therapy services I guarantee to see you within a fortnight of your enquiry, and sooner if you are in crisis.

I know many excellent therapists on the Mid-North Coast, but the ”best therapist” for one person may not be for another.

So, let’s consider what factors make someone the best Counsellor for you…

  • Are they a registered practitioner with a peak body such as PACFA or ACA?
  • Do they have a Masters degree in Counselling?
  • Do they make you feel safe and comfortable, even from the initial phone call?
  • Can they articulate their approach to Counselling and how they might tailor that to your own needs?
  • Do they have experience in counselling people with similar presenting issues as yourself?
  • Are they quick to reply and communicate with you?
  • Are they clear about booking options and procedures for maintaining your confidentiality?

My credentials match the first two points, and my clients tell me that that I pass the test on the other points. That suggests there’s a good chance I might be able to be the best counsellor in Port Macquarie for you. However, it’s only by getting in touch and connecting with myself and other local Counsellors and Psychologists that you’ll be able to get a feel for who is best for you.

Yes, if you are on a self managed NDIS plan you can contact me for Counselling services. NDIS Counselling is categorised as Therapeutic Supports.

Psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a Counsellor or Psychologist. During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors. It’s a treatment for your mental health or a supportive intervention for everyday challenges, concerns, and personal growth.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It’s a common treatment for a range of mental health problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, relationship problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. CBT is a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective in numerous research studies, showing significant improvement in functioning and quality of life.

According to the APA (Australian Psychological Association), the recommended session charge for 50 minutes is $280. Naturally that’s only a guide and I know several psychologists that charge far less, but it is well above what counsellors typically charge. Even when you account for a Medicare rebate.

I can only speak for myself here, but I charge $120 for a 1 hour individual counselling session and $150 for a 1 hour marriage counselling session. Medicare rebates aren’t available for counselling yet, but hopefully that’s coming in the near future.

Whilst both professions have a cross over (like counsellors and psychologists), the key difference is that psychiatrists are medical doctors who have specialised in mental health and can prescribe medication for the patient. A psychologist is not a medical doctor, but is trained to a high degree in mental health and will treat their clients with behavioural approaches and therapy, leaving the pharmaceuticals to the psychiatrist or referring GP.

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